Being a leader requires a world of skill, courage and perseverance. On top of this, being a leader in the work from home era calls for many more skills like empathy and kindness that will resonate with your teammates even through a screen. That’s a lot to ask of someone. That’s why this article will cover how you can overcome leadership challenges while working from home, adding color to your existing leadership skills.
What makes a good leader?
Let’s get back to basics. What makes a good leader? There are so many ways in which someone can be a good leader. But in general, we can define a good leader as someone who is courageous, honest, humble, strategic and ambitious. You can be a good leader in your own way. Some leaders are great because they offer large contributions to the company, achieving KPIs rapidly with their host of skills. Other leaders are great because of their attention to detail, and commitment to involving everyone in a team.
Leadership challenges while working from home
The work from home environment has challenged leaders all over the world to adapt their strategies overnight. Here are some of the common challenges leaders have cited with remote work.
- Lack of team connectivity. Working on a screen all day can really isolate your team members. This is detrimental to team spirit, cohesiveness and having a fun working environment. After all, the people you work with are an essential part of your day. This lack of connectivity affects teams as a whole and could dismay individuals on a personal level.
- Communication barriers. Meetings and in-person morning briefs are out of the picture. You can’t just stop by at a colleague’s desk for a quick check-in. Instead, you have to send emails or messages which could easily go ignored.
- Time zone differences. Some leaders have the added stress of managing employees across different parts of the world. Time zone differences could lead to odd meeting timings, team members being left out of the loop and the increasing isolation of international employees.
Overcoming leadership challenges while working from home
How do we overcome these challenges such that you can continue to be a good leader while working from home? Here are some of our favorite tips.
#1 Get personal with your teammates
Yes, it’s more challenging than ever to connect with people in the work from home environment. But this shouldn’t stop you from going out of your way to reach your colleagues. Start off team meetings with a five or ten-minute leeway for personal conversations. Check in with your team members often and don’t just ask about work! Ask about their lives, how they’re feeling, and how their families are doing.
#2 Amp up the communication
Since communication could be an issue, the onus is on you to amp up the flow of information within your team. Create a centralized chat group for work-related matters and set clear expectations on response timings. Schedule frequent meetings to make sure that everyone is on track and familiar with their tasks. You could also assign members from different timezones to “buddies” who will keep them updated on meetings they’ve missed. A little effort goes a long way in improving communication within your team!
#3 Make working from home fun
Leaders should inspire and motivate their team to work better. That’s why you should make working from home fun. Organize goofy team bonding sessions, create new virtual team traditions, and introduce fun productivity tools to keep spirits high. A Timeqube, for example, is a unique time tracker that indicates the change of time through the passing of color. It’s easy and fun to use, while adding a pop of color to your life. You can even use the virtual Timeqube to keep your team’s discussions on track. Tools like these are a great way to encourage your team to both work hard and play hard!